Microbiome renaissance

Broccoli Is Dying. Corn Is Toxic. Long Live Microbiomes! Let’s move past the green and gene revolutions to a microbiome renaissance. By Louise Elizabeth Maher-Johnson, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson on August 20, 2019 in Scientific American. As food writer Mark Bittman recently remarked, since food is defined as “a substance that provides nutrition and promotes growth” and poison is “a substance that promotes illness,” then “much of …

IPCC’s land report shows the problem with farming based around oil, not soil

August 8, 2019, Anna KrzywoszynskaResearch Fellow and Associate Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food, University of Sheffield The word “climate” makes most of us look up to the sky – however, the IPCC’s new special report on climate change and land should make us all look under our feet. Land, the report shows, is intimately linked to the climate. Changes in …

Parity Plus: The Green New Deal and Agriculture

Over 100,000 people have signed the petition to show support of a Green New Deal that adheres to the following principles: 4 Key Policy Priorities and Principles Fair prices for farmers, ranchers and fishers, anti-trust measures that help reverse food sector consolidation, and healthy working conditions with family-sustaining living wages for workers; Carbon reduction, sequestration, and climate resilience; Diversified, resilient …

Global warming increases microbial activity, driving global warming feedback loops: accelerated microbial activity in soils will significantly increase carbon emissions by 2050.

BY BOB BERWYN, INSIDECLIMATE NEWS JUN 19, 2019 All life on Earth evolved from microorganisms in the primordial slime, and billions of years later, the planet’s smallest life forms—including bacteria, plankton and viruses—are still fundamental to the biosphere. They cycle minerals and nutrients through soil, water and the atmosphere. They help grow and digest the food we eat. Without microbes, …

In age of climate change, can our lawns be more than landscaping? Forget aesthetics: Lawns can raise food, restore habitats, and even store carbon

Analysts at Garden Research found U.S. gardeners spent a record $47.8 billion in lawn and garden retail purchases last year, roughly $503 per household (a figure that includes outdoor furniture purchases).  Environmental Protection Agency stats suggest that every year, Americans use 800 million gallons of gasoline caring for our lawns, and spill a further 17 million in the process (a spill, in terms of …

Book highlights: Weather from the Ground Up: Biodiversity Helps Shape Local Climate. And Dirt to Soil: Journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture, by Gabe Brown (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018) from Loretto Earth Network News, May 2019 Picture this exchange. I’m at a Motherhouse Farm and Land Management Committee meeting when I mention that I was so excited about reading Dirt to Soil that I read it straight through while I was on vacation in Florida.  After a brief pause, one …

Heating and risk of heatwaves are much worse

‘It is horrid’: India roasts under heat wave with temperatures above 120 degrees, 7 June 2019 The Washington Post | Joanna Slater When the temperature topped 120 degrees (49 Celsius), residents of the northern Indian city of Churu stopped going outside and authorities started hosing down the baking streets with water. Churu – home to more than 100,000 people – has …

“The Story of Soil Is the Story of All of Us”: Composting as Community Building

For as long as humans have engaged in agriculture, and even before, we’ve relied on healthy soil and the organisms it supports. And for most of that time, we’ve cultivated good soil. Early societies developed food production systems that actually enhanced soil fertility and food abundance, such as with “terra preta,” or Amazonian dark earth, and the food forests of the …

Good news: there’s a startling degree of consensus on key issues. Eighty-three percent of Americans believe that as a society, the United States is focused on the wrong priorities. Supermajorities want to see greater priority given to children, family, community, and a healthy environment. Americans also want a world that puts people ahead of profits, spiritual values ahead of financial values, and international cooperation ahead of international domination

David Korten posted Apr 17, 2019 How Will Future Generations Remember Our Time? Empire or Earth Community and a Great Turning? This article from the YES! Media archives was originally published in the Summer 2006 issue of YES! Magazine. By what name will future generations know our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when …

Notre Dame and the Fight for Sacred Lands

My people, the Dakota and the Diné, did not build these things and were without kings or nobles or peasants. What we created instead were the kinship relationships with land and people that organized our societies. These made life worth living for everyone—not just the mighty.  My people built tipis and hogans, where relationships were nourished and stories were told …